Written by one who doesn’t drink due to health concerns, God Gave Wine takes a non-biased approach to the issue. What does the Bible really say about alcoholic drink? Contrary to the popular opinion of many American evangelical Christians, the Bible does not expressly forbid the drinking of alcoholic drinks, such as wine or “strong drink”. Rather, it forbids in no uncertain terms, the abuse of alcohol.
Drunkenness is never viewed as a disease, instead it is incumbent on men not to become drunk with wine. Drunkenness is a sin worthy of eternal damnation. It is expressly forbidden and counseled against. Yet the moderate enjoyment of wine is not only allowed, but encouraged.
Kenneth Gentry deals with each relevant passage exegetically and fairly. He traces the Biblical meanings of the words employed for “wine” and other alcoholic drinks. He reveals the circular reasoning behind the two wine theory, that the Bible has two kinds of wine in view (alcoholic, and non-alcoholic) even as it employs only one term. The same wine the Bible warns can lead to drunkenness, is the wine the Bible praises as a gift from God for man’s enjoyment.
As Christians, we should all care most about what God says on any given issue. Arguments from wisdom and expediency are important, but the express teaching of God’s Word is final. Gentry explores the many arguments from principle that Christians use to avoid completely anything alcoholic. He finds these arguments wanting, after a verse by verse study of Romans 14.
If you care about the truth, and if you care about Scripture, you should pick up this book and read it. The traditions of godly men of old are important, but God’s Word is more so. Historically, the avoidance of all alcoholic drink is relatively new, and today is primarily restricted to American Christians. When you see what Scripture has to say, Itself, on this topic, you will at least have more leniency in your views concerning this important issue.
As one who was converted (through a study of Scripture) to the moderate use of God-given wine, I can testify that many Christians drink with joy to the glory of God. Drinking does not make one more apt to sin, nor does it reveal that one has worldly desires. No matter how you conclude on this topic, it would be to your credit to interact with and at least consider what Kenneth Gentry says in this helpful, carefully written, concise book on wine.
Anyone interested in studying this issue out further, can peruse my previous articles on the subject listed here.
Update: For any wishing to order the book, currently Amazon doesn’t have it, and it’s used prices are really high. You can order it here from American Vision, for $12.95, or from Oakdown Books, the publisher, for $13. You can also get it for 12.99 from CBD or as part of a set of 2 books on the topic, click here for details.
This review is also available in pdf format at CrossFocusedReviews.com.